AAA Mobility Specialist brings services to disabled
Dan had crafted the AAA Mobility Specialist business model in 2004, in response to a pressing need that came about in his local Veteran’s Affairs hospital. Due to the loss of the hospital’s regular wheelchair vendor, the Phoenix VA hospital was unable to service the wheelchairs of veterans with disabilities. People would be unable to enjoy a very basic human right: movement – the ability to travel and be independent. Dan began volunteering at the Phoenix VA Hospital to satisfy the void left by the previous wheelchair vendor. His work at the VA Hospital involved repairing wheelchairs and educating veterans with disabilities in how to use their mobility equipment. During his time with the Phoenix VA Hospital, Dan designed a simulator for automotive wheelchair lifts and even returned to school to receive additional education that would allow him to better assist veteran with disabilities. Dan holds wheelchair clinic there where he explains that the options and services that are available to veterans with mobile disabilities and conducts demonstrations on how to use the equipment. He also measures and fits individuals especially for their chairs.
At 70 years old, Dan has a customer base of 3,500 individuals and says he is far from ready to retire. In fact, he’s looking to grow his business. Not only is he opening another Arizona location – in Prescott – he has also traveled the 1,500 miles to Effingham to guide and assist his brother, Keith, in creating a similar set-up here.
Keith explains that, outside of Effingham, there are no VA clinics for approximately 50 miles in any direction. As such, there are few wheelchair service shops in the area that work in conjunction with the VA. Keith and Dan believe there is a real need for centralized AAA Mobility Specialist location that aims to serve and educate veterans with mobile disabilities. “This business is designed specifically to help veterans,” says Dan. And the people operating and managing AAA Mobility Specialist locations are carefully selected with that in mind; currently, one of Keith’s three employees is a veteran.